While ending any relationship is hard, ending a marriage is the most difficult. The issues that arise in divorce are often difficult enough to make some put off from ever raising the topic of divorce. When, and if, you do decide to move forward with asking your spouse for a divorce, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Be Sure This Is What You Want
Couples argue, it's part of being in a relationship. While continuous arguing could be a sign that there are some underlying problems, it does not mean your only option is divorce. Consider asking for couples therapy or having a serious talk with your spouse about some of your concerns. This could end up being enough to fix the issues without asking for a divorce.
However, if you’ve been down that road for awhile and nothing has ever changed, it may be time to start preparing for the next steps.
Find The Right Time and Place
If you decided to ask your spouse for a divorce, one of the most important ways you can prepare is by picking the appropriate moment and place. It’s best to pick a time of relative calm in their life. Ambushing your spouse about divorce while they are sick or having problems at work will only add extra stress to an already stressful situation. This added stress could cause them to react worse to the news of divorce than they typically would.
Also, a quiet and private place would be ideal, but if you’re concerned your spouse may react violently, then it may be best to have the discussion in a public place where you can still enjoy a certain degree of privacy. Parks and outside coffee shops are options to consider when you feel the conversation should take place in public.
If you believe the conversation can take place safely in private, make sure you are in a space that is quiet and cannot be easily disturbed. If you have children or pets, consider dropping them off with a trusted adult, such as a grandparent, for the day so your conversation can take place uninterrupted.
Prepare For "The Talk"
When talking about a subject as serious as divorce, you should never come up with what to say on the spot. Prepare a speech or talking points as to not be caught off guard when you decide to have "the talk". Consider the answers to questions such as Is he/she just as unhappy as me? Will he/she be blindsided by this news? Have either of us hinted around the subject of divorce recently? By asking yourself these questions, you are able to better frame what you would like to say to your spouse when you do finally decide it's time to ask for a divorce.
Keep in mind that your words need to be gentle, yet firm. Avoid going too far and pointing too much blame at your spouse, even if you feel they deserve it. Make sure they understand the reason(s) you're asking for a divorce while still feeling supported.
Be Understanding Of Their Response
Keep in mind that while you’ve had plenty of time to mentally prepare, your want of a divorce can, and probably will, blindside your spouse. Be prepared for their emotional reaction as you break the news by being as calm as you can while maintaining civility.
If you or your spouse becomes unruly, end the conversation and let them know that it can continue once you've both had a chance to calm down. Though this discussion needs to happen, it can also lead to emotions running high. Do not feel that you have to continue a conversation that can lead to things being said that you or your spouse would later regret.
After you have had "the talk" and let your spouse know about your intentions, you should hire an attorney to begin taking the initial steps of the divorce process. To protect your metal wellbeing, consider looking into a therapist while going through the divorce process as well. Understand that the decision you made to have the conversation of divorce is ultimately what's best for you, your spouse and your family and there's no shame in asking for help.
With more than a decade of experience helping individuals through the divorce process, The C.Y. Lee Legal Group, PLLC is committed to helping you find the best solution for your case while keeping your best interests in mind. Consider scheduling a consultation to see how we can best help you, today.